Jump to content


Photo

dining in Tucson...

  • Please log in to reply
50 replies to this topic

#1 okieav8r

okieav8r

    I'd rather be flying!

  • *****
  • Administrators
  • Posts: 4672
  • Joined: 01 Mar 2009
  • Loc: Oklahoma!

Posted 11 October 2012 - 09:05 PM

Does anyone have any good recommendations for places to dine in Tucson? I prefer good Mom-and-Pop, hole-in-the-wall greasy spoons to chain restaurants and places that emphasize atmosphere over fare. I like good Mexican food, chicken fried steak, burgers, that sort of thing. Nothing too healthy.

#2 rboe

rboe

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 67131
  • Joined: 16 Mar 2002
  • Loc: Phx, AZ

Posted 11 October 2012 - 10:23 PM

We're looking at a small group of us at rosa's on Campbell and fort Lowell road in the middle of town Friday night. Saturday night we have decided. Assuming you would want to join us. :)

Some locals will be at the show and they would be of better help. I know of one other Mexican place closer to speedway, but can't recall the name. The are also some good places on oracle around Ina.

#3 Starhawk

Starhawk

    Space Ranger

  • *****
  • Posts: 5614
  • Joined: 16 Sep 2008
  • Loc: Tucson, Arizona

Posted 11 October 2012 - 10:45 PM

There are a whole lot of places to eat in Tucson, and a lot of good ones. I'm afraid my answer may be a little imperfect, but I'll try and list what I've found to be good so hopefully this will answer as many different tastes as possible. Tucson is a little surprising in the restaurants it has- be prepared to rethink expectations a bit.

I'm on what is called the East end of town (near the center as you look at an overhead map). The city is sort of divided into a few major sectors with blurry distinctions. The major ones are "The East" as in east of the downtown area. Major roads for moving around there are 22nd street, Broadway, and Speedway, which all run east- west, and I have labeled going south to north. 22nd and speedway completely cross the city, but restaurant row is on Broadway. From downtown, where the convention center is, the streets are a bit knotted up. If you go north or south, you can get to either Speedway or 22nd to move to the East, where streets become a regular grid.

I'll just list favorite local restaurants- some are chains, but they are good examples of them, and that's why they are on here. The eastern area below is called "Restaurant row" and has a nucleus of restaurants.

Lotus Garden on Speedway west of Wilmot- Chinese restaurant run by the Owners. They'll cook to order and even have brown rice on request.

AliBaba- on Speedway just East of Tucson blvd. Run by a Lebanese family- quite good. Be prepared to see people in galabiyas stop by.

Outback Steakhouse- Grant just East of Swan- Competent crew and good service.

Claim Jumper- Good food but holy cats they are SLOW despite a massive crew. Even when there with little kids and a request for speed, it WILL NOT HAPPEN. But if you want to hang out and socialize, you are assured time and good food.

Cuisine of India (New Delhi Palace) at Broadway and Julia- Good Indian food, with a buffet for lunch.

Mama's Pizza- Local Pizza place. If you order a "Large" make sure you have 4 people to help eat it.

Kon Tiki- Polynesian (Tiki!) restaurant on Broadway just west of Swan. Low-key fun, and good food.

Macaroni Grill- Broadway at Rosemont (By Barnes and Noble)- Competent crew, make reservations and it's quick.

Sachiko Sushi at Speedway and Wilmot.

Poco and Mom's- Mexican restaurant on Kolb just north of 22nd. Good food with salsa to taste (looks like a hole in the wall place, but worth stopping by).

The other major sector of the city is the Northwest, which is basically north of the original downtown. Again, looking at the map from above, it doesn't seem to make that much sense- it's traditional based on the original city.

The Northwest is largely aligned along 6th avenue, which becomes Oracle road (and ends up going to Oracle, a town on the far side of Mt. Lemmon).

For whatever reason, this part of town is dominated by chain restaurants. As odd as it sounds, Tucson is large enough and sectored enough we aren't up in that area is often. Someone from that part of town may have good recommendations.

There are more places around the University of Arizona, and some of them have strong followings among former students. But strangely enough, the best meal I've personally had in that area has been at the Marriott.

South Tucson is technically a separate town, though it is just south along 6th avenue to get there. There are a few good mexican restaurants, but I would mainly recommend them for lunch.

Mi Nidito Restaurant- 4th avenue, east of 6th avenue at the corner of 29th street- Mexican food, and arguably the best in Tucson.

There are, of course, more. These are just ones which we've been frequenting in recent memory and had good experiences.

-Rich

#4 Joe Cipriano

Joe Cipriano

    Entropy Personified

  • *****
  • Posts: 8094
  • Joined: 03 Sep 2005
  • Loc: Uh... anyone have a GPS?

Posted 11 October 2012 - 11:22 PM

I've got a feeling Saturday is going to be the "big" CN dinner. We should probably start an attendee list, so we have at least some idea of how big a restaurant we'll need. That may sound a little silly, but I don't want to try and pack 50 people into some little hole in the wall.

50 of us together WOULD be cool - albeit potentially dangerous... ;)

#5 Starhawk

Starhawk

    Space Ranger

  • *****
  • Posts: 5614
  • Joined: 16 Sep 2008
  • Loc: Tucson, Arizona

Posted 12 October 2012 - 01:31 PM

Saturday would be the day. My main problem for anything like this is I haven't been able to figure out how to ping the CN folks coming to this. NEAF didn't have a mechanism for this. It would seem the only people who could actually cause a CN tie-in to get organized are our sponsors at Astronomics. I personally would very much like to have something like that available.

Depending on the size of the group, there are of course places better able to accommodate groups of different sizes. But to date there are only three CN members I've met. I'm told there were far more at NEAF. I really don't want ASAE to go down that way (see my other thread).

-Rich

#6 rboe

rboe

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 67131
  • Joined: 16 Mar 2002
  • Loc: Phx, AZ

Posted 12 October 2012 - 03:15 PM

We are getting name tags made up for folks that will be there (see other thread).

For those that don't have computer access (thinking out loud and strickly off the cuff here) perhaps we can post somewhere on site where supper will be held for CNers and their new friends. Then you can inspect it, get directions, time and all that stuff.

#7 Joe Cipriano

Joe Cipriano

    Entropy Personified

  • *****
  • Posts: 8094
  • Joined: 03 Sep 2005
  • Loc: Uh... anyone have a GPS?

Posted 12 October 2012 - 03:28 PM

We are getting name tags made up for folks that will be there (see other thread).

For those that don't have computer access (thinking out loud and strickly off the cuff here) perhaps we can post somewhere on site where supper will be held for CNers and their new friends. Then you can inspect it, get directions, time and all that stuff.


We'll still need a ball-park estimate, and a reservation with some latitude. Restaurants don't take too kindly to 80 people just showing up - especially on a Saturday night.
Shame there isn't a Maggiano's in Tucson - they do family-style dining, and don't even sneeze when big parties roll in unannounced.

Hope we need a BIG restaurant... ;)

#8 Starhawk

Starhawk

    Space Ranger

  • *****
  • Posts: 5614
  • Joined: 16 Sep 2008
  • Loc: Tucson, Arizona

Posted 12 October 2012 - 05:26 PM

Any way someone could send out a general pm to ask who's coming to ASAE and who of them would want to do a dinner?

-Rich

#9 rboe

rboe

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 67131
  • Joined: 16 Mar 2002
  • Loc: Phx, AZ

Posted 12 October 2012 - 05:58 PM

I'm afraid that is beyond the scope of our software here. Best we can do is do a shout out here in this thread(s) and have folks respond here.

#10 Joe Cipriano

Joe Cipriano

    Entropy Personified

  • *****
  • Posts: 8094
  • Joined: 03 Sep 2005
  • Loc: Uh... anyone have a GPS?

Posted 12 October 2012 - 07:16 PM

Might want to post something in Announcements, also... :shrug:

#11 Joe Cipriano

Joe Cipriano

    Entropy Personified

  • *****
  • Posts: 8094
  • Joined: 03 Sep 2005
  • Loc: Uh... anyone have a GPS?

Posted 12 October 2012 - 07:26 PM

Skip dropped me a PM - include him for Saturday.

I'll ask that anyone else interested in joining the horde on Saturday post here. I've got several irons in the fire right now, and I don't want someone being left out because I dropped the ball.

#12 okieav8r

okieav8r

    I'd rather be flying!

  • *****
  • Administrators
  • Posts: 4672
  • Joined: 01 Mar 2009
  • Loc: Oklahoma!

Posted 12 October 2012 - 09:00 PM

I'm still trying to figure out if I'm going to get to go. I've been practically hemorrhaging money lately. I like Ron's idea of CN'rs getting together for a meal together. And thanks to Rich for the list of eateries.

#13 Starhawk

Starhawk

    Space Ranger

  • *****
  • Posts: 5614
  • Joined: 16 Sep 2008
  • Loc: Tucson, Arizona

Posted 12 October 2012 - 11:15 PM

You're most welcome, OK aviator.

Joe, are you in the Tucson area? I'm thinking about places able to handle a wide range in numbers of people.

The best place in organization terms would be the Marriott Starr pass- From looking at their website it appears it isn't quite as simple as looking up a price per plate. However, I've been to a lot of events, there, and they always do a good job.

-Rich

#14 Starhawk

Starhawk

    Space Ranger

  • *****
  • Posts: 5614
  • Joined: 16 Sep 2008
  • Loc: Tucson, Arizona

Posted 12 October 2012 - 11:38 PM

On the announcements group, I see it isn't overly used. I wouldn't want people to miss this by the accident of not knowing.

-Rich

#15 RayM0506

RayM0506

    Lift Off

  • *****
  • Posts: 6
  • Joined: 27 Sep 2012
  • Loc: Tucson, AZ

Posted 13 October 2012 - 12:26 AM

For good Oriental food there is Old Peking at Tucson and Speedway. For good pizza, there is Brooklyn Pizza on 4th Ave, the REALLY cool thing about that is it next door to a bar called Skybar. And Astronomy themed bar, that has telescops out and displays astro-images on large screens throughout the bar.

#16 Joe Cipriano

Joe Cipriano

    Entropy Personified

  • *****
  • Posts: 8094
  • Joined: 03 Sep 2005
  • Loc: Uh... anyone have a GPS?

Posted 13 October 2012 - 12:52 AM

Rich:

I'm in Scottsdale. Haven't been to Tucson in at least 5 yrs.

While it would make organizing easier, I'm not sure going the hotel-catered banquet route would be the best idea. Worked in that field for years - the hotel always wants a big chunk of change as a deposit (if not the whole amount) either up front or a couple of weeks prior to the event. Menu will be limited (unless we want to pay lots more for an expanded menu), and we pay the contracted head count - whether everyone shows up or not. We're also at less than 30 days; most banquets are booked several months in advance, so there may be additional fees for the short notice.

#17 Starhawk

Starhawk

    Space Ranger

  • *****
  • Posts: 5614
  • Joined: 16 Sep 2008
  • Loc: Tucson, Arizona

Posted 13 October 2012 - 02:05 AM

I forgot Brooklyn pizza by skybar! It's a very perfect thing. Even though an astronomy themed coffee house makes more sense to me.

-Rich

#18 RayM0506

RayM0506

    Lift Off

  • *****
  • Posts: 6
  • Joined: 27 Sep 2012
  • Loc: Tucson, AZ

Posted 13 October 2012 - 03:19 AM

I forgot Brooklyn pizza by skybar! It's a very perfect thing. Even though an astronomy themed coffee house makes more sense to me.

-Rich

Yeah, I agree. Don't drink myself, but it is a good place to go and do some observing, other then all the lights!!

#19 tomwall

tomwall

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • Posts: 15
  • Joined: 01 Nov 2009
  • Loc: Arizona, USA

Posted 14 October 2012 - 11:32 AM

Bobo's
Good and cheap and FILLING!
It's a legend with the after-bar crowd (or the after-star party crowd). Go early to get the Early Bird specials.

http://www.yelp.com/biz/bobos-tucson

Tom Wall,
Tucson

#20 Alan S

Alan S

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 727
  • Joined: 27 Oct 2007

Posted 16 October 2012 - 03:01 PM

Just a suggestion...SkyBar is cool, 80 people eating the excellent pizza? Not so sure...its not a huge place.

There is a fairly good Mexican restaurant just behind the TCC, right on Cushing and Main street...El Minuto Cafe

One can walk from the expo (across the street) and they could handle a group reservation.

#21 Starhawk

Starhawk

    Space Ranger

  • *****
  • Posts: 5614
  • Joined: 16 Sep 2008
  • Loc: Tucson, Arizona

Posted 16 October 2012 - 03:53 PM

Do we actually have more than 5-10 people to attend? Like if so, who?

-Rich

#22 rboe

rboe

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 67131
  • Joined: 16 Mar 2002
  • Loc: Phx, AZ

Posted 16 October 2012 - 04:32 PM

Good point Rich; we need a list for Saturday night.

#23 rboe

rboe

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 67131
  • Joined: 16 Mar 2002
  • Loc: Phx, AZ

Posted 16 October 2012 - 04:36 PM

I started another thread just for counting purposes. You need to commment please put those in here (or the other relevent thread) so we have an easier time counting it. At our age there are too many squirrels so we need all the help we can get. Thanks for your understanding.

Mods; if you could cull non-count posts in there it would be a HUGE help.

#24 Starhawk

Starhawk

    Space Ranger

  • *****
  • Posts: 5614
  • Joined: 16 Sep 2008
  • Loc: Tucson, Arizona

Posted 16 October 2012 - 10:32 PM

Unless a whole bunch of people start joining up for the dinner, we've got more flexibility on locations...

-Rich

#25 ToxMan

ToxMan

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Posts: 2779
  • Joined: 23 Jan 2011
  • Loc: Tucson, Arizona, USA

Posted 23 October 2012 - 09:37 PM

McMahon's Steakhouse at Ft Lowell and Swan. Pricey, great food, great atmosphere and a wonderful cigar bar and smoking patio.(No smoking inside.) Another McMahon's restaurant is Old Pueblo Grill on Alvernon just north of Broadway.

Claim Jumper is on Broadway, just west of Alvernon.

And, Opa! for Greek food is on Campbell just north of Glenn.

For Italian fare, Mamma Louisa's on Craycroft just south of 29th St.

If you can't find a good Mexican restaurant, you are helpless. They are everywhere. Really. My personal favorite is Zivaz! just west of the corner of Broadway and Swan Rd.

And, for the best Sonoran style hot dogs, BK's, either on South 12th Avenue or on North 1st Avenue. They are the bomb! Bacon wrapped dog, in bun filled with beans, sour cream, cheese, pico de gallo, and either red chili sauce or green tomatillo sauce. They have good Mexican food. But, the dogs are by far their big seller.

PM me if you need more. I'm a native of Tucson.






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics